Canadian Tamil group blasts UN over anti-LTTE remarks (Lead)

February 17th, 2009 - 3:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Feb 17 (IANS) A Canadian Tamil group has hit out at the United Nations for accusing Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers of preventing civilians from leaving the war zone and killing those who tried.

The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) said the UN allegation only helped Sri Lanka to commit what it said was “genocide” against the Tamil community.

“In the past the UN has denied such statements. We will wait and watch for their official reaction in New York. But if it is true, such statements only help Sri Lanka,” CTC spokesman David Poopalapillai told IANS.

“The UN should go to the conflict zone to know the ground realities, and not issue statements sitting in Colombo. Civilians are being killed by the Sri Lankan forces in their genocide against Tamils,” he said.

Poopalapillai added: “The UN accusations (against the LTTE) are aimed at hiding their own failure to bring about ceasefire in the conflict zone.

“Tamils have been asking the UN to step in to bring about a ceasefire to end the misery of the civilians but they (UN) have done nothing.”

On Monday, the office of the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Colombo accused the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) of preventing people from leaving the war zone. It added that reports indicated that a growing number of people trying to leave had been shot and even killed.

Canada is home to some 300,000 Sri Lankan Tamils, the biggest Tamil diaspora group outside the island. The LTTE enjoyed a lot of support among the Tamils till Canada banned it in 2006.

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